Int’l seminar on eco-spirituality

Native American spiritual leaders stress on reverence for nature

ROING, Feb 13: “Vision, values and the tribal way of life must find an important place in formulating successful nature and forest conservation policies by any government,” said Lower Dibang Valley Deputy Commissioner Mitali Namchoom.
Addressing the inaugural programme of a two-day international seminar here recently as a part of the golden jubilee Reh celebration, she said educated Arunachalee youths must show an interest in studying tribal values and practices, “if we are to retain our cultural and ecological heritage.”
Speaking at the plenary session, Superintendent of Police Sanjay Kumar Sain expressed admiration for the values of respect for women that exists in the Arunachalee tribal societies. He also lauded the social taboos among the Idu Mishmi against rampant hunting of wild animals, and urged the younger generation to uphold these values.
Speaking on the Native American environmental wisdom, SD Youngwolf, a Cherookee Native American from Colorado, USA, brought out the reverence of the American tribes for plants, animals and even inanimate elements of nature.
“The materialistic and fanatic white men could not understand this spiritual wisdom, which led them to cruelly wipe out ative American communities,” he said.
Youngwolf (71), who has travelled across Arunachal from 2003, made his presentation alive with hymns, songs and stories from his culture.
The tribal team from Columbia, led by Pacha Kanchay, conducted their session outdoor, leading the audience through a deeply emotional experience.
It was an offering of utmost reverence to the sky, the earth, the sun and elements of nature, concluding with a mystical flute recital, which almost sounded like a classical Indian raga.
Later, Pacha elaborated that human life is wholly guided by the powers of nature “and we must retain that awareness every moment of our life.”
The seminar saw a series of papers on various aspects of eco-spirituality, presented by Khindiko Mega, Bulia Pulu, Dr Razzeko Dele, Dr Mite Linggi and Dr Rajiv Meso.
Delegate Jati Pulu spoke of the vital place of the knowledge of mother tongue in the preservation of culture and warned Arunachalee youths.
The programme was organised jointly by the Idu Mishmi Cultural & Literary Society, the RIWATCH and the United Nations University-Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS) at the IGU museum here.
Spiritual leaders from the Native American tribes of USA and South America were the main delegates at the seminar.